Mindanao power supply seen to exceed demand

by Lenie Lectura, 01 March 2015

For the first time since 2009, the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) said the region will have excess power supply this year.

“There are good things coming in for Mindanao, and power is one of them,” MinDa Chairman  Luwalhati Antonino said.

Additional power supply will come from Therma South’s 300- megawatt (MW) power plant and from an initial 100 MW out of a total 200-MW power capacity from Sarangani Energy Corp.

Antonino, however, said the expected entry of more baseload capacities from coal-fired power plants totaling 2,000 MW until 2018 should be complemented by the accelerated deployment
of renewable-energy (RE) projects, such as hydro, biomass, geothermal, and solar, among others.

A total of 231 RE projects spread across Mindanao could potentially generate at least 2,419 MW of sustainable power for the region between 2020 and 2025, the Mindanao Power Monitoring Committee said.

The surge of RE power applications may be attributed to the One Stop Facilitation and Monitoring Center Web portal, an online database developed by MinDA and the Department of Energy (DoE), with the assistance of the US Agency for International Development.

Launched in October last year, the Web-based mechanism aims to accelerate the duration of the permitting process for RE projects for up to only two years, instead of the usual three to five.

The same online-monitoring facility initiated in Mindanao was also adapted by the DoE, and led to the formulation of the Energy Virtual One-Stop Shop, which will also provide the same services for power proponents in Luzon and the Visayas regions.

“A diversified mix of fossil and renewable-energy sources is integral to our overall strategy of pursuing balanced and holistic economic growth in Mindanao,” said Romeo Montenegro, MinDA director for Investment Promotions and Public Affairs.

He added that pursuing RE development is also aligned with the MinDA’s Mindanao 2020 Peace and Development Framework Plan, which recognizes power as a major enabling factor for socioeconomic development.